Thursday, December 30, 2010

A different take on Marathon training

I came across this article via the US Runners World group on Facebook and am sharing it as it seems to chime with what Jon says to us and how he trains us.,7120,s6-238-244-255-13791-0,00.html

Obviously, it's written by a 2'40" runner, but the point is well made that it can apply to us mere mortals too.

Could be the way forward for VLM 2011....

Happy New Year to all!


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Hellrunner Down South 28th November

Hi all,

My first post one here so I thought I would tell you about the Puma Hellrunner I completed back at the end of November. It took place at the Longmoore Military Camp down in Hampshire and it was freeeezing! The route was 'between 10 and 12 miles' (they dont give a specific distance) over cross country and a few bogs (the worst being the 'Bog of Doom!'). Up to your chest in black water trying to get to the other side and then running for another few miles soaking wet!

Some very steep hills and some very scary descents were thrown in for good measure particularly when the legs are tired and fingers and toes cold. I came in a 34th in 01:15 which I thought was quite respectable as it was my first trail run but hoping to do some more. Had to sit in the car for an hour afterwards tho with the heaters on full blast to warm up!

The link can be found here... and they have a few more lined up in the new year which I hope to get my name down for.

Happy xmas!


Monday, December 13, 2010

brief digest: optimising your marathon training

Last Tuesday a few of us went along to hear about how we might optimise our Marathon training, hosted by Balance Physiotherapy. It was a pretty interesting evening, and I think each of us took away at least one new thing to think about when we train, even if we’re not all looking at marathons in 2011. Below I’ve used my (annoyingly incomplete) notes to summarise some of the main points of both lectures. Some will be more interesting/useful/relevant than others, but I hope they have been recorded faithfully and may be one or two of some interest to you.

Lecture 1, delivered by Raphael Rinaldi, on ‘how to prepare your first Marathon injury free’ was a little difficult to follow, but here’s what I picked up:

RUNNING STYLE: be sure to incorporate a torso twist/mobility of the trunk into your running; land on the balls of your and since your ankle receives the most impact when you run (followed by knee), it’s important to have very flexible ankles.

TRAINING: its very important to train to increase your ‘eccentric’ strength. ‘Eccentric’ muscle contraction is when you increase tension on a muscle when it lengthens, so in essence this means that you should train for endurance and stability goals in a way that involves different body areas. Circuits are ideal; with 8-10 stations, 1 min on each station and a minimum of 3 rounds of each station.

He talked about 3 TRAINING PHASES:

1. ADAPTATION – learning to run (applicable if you’re starting from scratch) (1-8 weeks)
2. RUNNING – learning to train – getting fit (9-16 weeks)
Underlying narrative: training is not about quantity, but quality. Don’t go out for a run to rack up the miles if you're feeling distracted/under the weather/unmotivated. Do something else instead.

Lecture 2 was given by Dr. Stewart Laing, a Sports Science Consultant at Balance. He seemed to know his stuff; having done several pieces of research into nutrition, including a full review of the relative effectiveness of all sports drinks on the market! *

In essence the aim of training is to improve the ability of your cardiovascular system to transport and deliver oxygen to your muscles, and then to optimise ability of your muscles to be able to use this oxygen. This involves improving your aerobic capacity (by running for longer) and your lactate threshold (by running harder).

To do the former you should try light sustained easy exercise – such as aerobics, light runs and for the latter, you need to do threshold runs, fartlek interval training – all of which are slightly different from one another but should push you into lactate burn and muscle fatigue because you’re at the point at which you shift from aerobic to anerobic activity. If training is effective, you’ll have shifted the point at which lactate begins to accumulate in your body.

NUTRITION: If you run a sub 2hr marathon, your body uses 3000 cals. Slightly less if its sub 4hrs. Ultimately the aim of training is to improve your body’s ability to use carbs and fat energy stores, and to shift the reliance of using carb stores onto fat stores. If you’re doing a run over 45 mins, you should refuel during the run using solid or liquid energy, as you prefer.

FLUIDS: dehydration is inevitable: you sweat around 4 litres in one marathon (1.2l/hour) and so would need to drink 200ml every 15 mins to prevent it. Since this isn’t possible, the next best option is to drink 200ml an hour (sip little and often) and to start hydrated before running. Its definitely wise to practise drinking like this during training to teach your body to tolerate this.

THERMOREGULATING: difficult here to get the right balance between over and under-dressing, especially in the winter. He recommends removing extra layers though as you begin to warm up, so you reduce the risk and negative consequences of overheating.

IMMUNE SYSTEM: some research indicates that moderate exercise increases the body’s immune system nicely, whereas high intensity exercise impairs it. When training for a marathon you’d be classified as doing the latter, so it follows that the risk of getting ill is greatly increased. You can mitigate this slightly by ensuring you don’t train when you’re feeling under the weather, and that you stay hydrated and don’t allow yourself to have a dry mouth. Saliva IgA protects against bacteria and viral infections but cannot be produced if you’re not taking on enough fluids.

*short answer: those with electrolytes, sodium and potassium

Check out for more information on this second lecture.

Running Repairs

After the sucess of the educational talk about marathon preperation at Balance physio last week, i thought it was long overdue to get the Running Repairs injury advice blog up and running!!  Over the next few weeks i will be answering any questions that you guys have on injuries, marathon training and making sure you all stay injury free.

The saturday morning sessions are going to under go a review to help structure them more around what phase of training you are in along side the ongoing pre-hab and strength and conditioning that is currently in place. 

If you have any burning questions about your training feel free to post on the blog or email me directly at

happy running

Paula :-)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Bedford half & upcoming races


Just got back from a chilly run out at Bedford! It was well organised and we ran through some lovely countryside, but jeez there were a few sneaky hills!! I took it slow and steady but hope to up the anti next year when marathon training gets into full swing!

Just a reminder that international entries for Madrid (17 April) close on 31 December 2010 so if you're keen, make sure you sign up soon!!

Also, in the lead up to the marathon season, these races usually sell out early, so get onboard when you can:

Silverstone half 4 Feb

Hastings half 20 Mar

Reading half on 20 Mar already sold out:-(


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Chilly morning; Regents Park 10K

With all the snow at the beginning of the week, I was secretly hoping that the race would be cancelled as I didn't really fancy skidding around the park. However as the roads/paths were clear I didn't have a good enough excuse not to run!

Although the snow had melted the morning was still freezing cold, luckily running warms you up and after 5k I was starting to get some feeling back in my hands (even though the rest of my arms were like ice cubes). I really must find some gloves which I can run in.

Despite conditions I thoroughly enjoyed the event, the 3 laps round the park were varied and each km was marked. The runners were spread along the course making it a great place for a p.b. - I broke mine, with a time of 47.30 so I was very pleased. The race also make me feel very virtuous and smug as when I got home just after 11, Martin was only just getting up!

Thanks to Frank who provided the lift and who also recommended the race. The next one in the series is the 2nd Jan (which I may miss as it's too close to the New Year), however I'll definitely be up for the one in Feb. For more info click here.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Balance Physiotherapy lecture Tuesday 7th Dec 2010 6.45-9.00. Train smarter and stay pain-free: strategies to optimise your Marathon training plan

Raphael Rinaldi Chartered Sports Physiotherapist and the Running Clinic Team, Balance Performance Physiotherapy: - Save your money this year: how to prepare your first Marathon injury – free 7.15pm – 8.00pm

Raph has been working with marathon runners at Olympic and International level including Olympic Marathon Gold medallists and NYC Marathon winners over the last fifteen years. He has joined the Medical Team at IAAF Diamond League, World Challenge, Gold Label Race events and recently the EAA European Championships in Barcelona.

Running a marathon is not for everyone and requires much more than following a programme found on a magazine. It requires to achieve a number of goals which most times are neglected and inevitably lead to injury. Since the nature of injuries is multi-factorial in nature, it requires a multifaceted training and self-management plan. We will therefore guide through the use of practical tools to screen yourself or your athletes and then come up with a goal-oriented performance plan

Dr. Stewart Laing Sports Science Consultant, Balance Performance Physiotherapy:
- The Science of Surviving a Full Marathon Experience- from training to the finish line 8.00pm – 9.00pm
Stewart has been working as Sport Physiology to the British Olympic Association over the last five years and currently works as a Consultant to Olympic Programmes for a number of National Governing Bodies.
It’s not just the 26.2 miles on race day that count; it’s surviving the 100’s of miles training to make it to the start line injury free and fighting fit that require the most attention. Understanding the physiological demands of marathon training and knowing how to spot the warning signs early on will help you to adhere to a program that will aim to maximise your adaptations to training whilst aiming to keeping you injury and illness free.

During this session I’ll guide you through the physiology of marathon running and the adaptations your body will go through over the course of training. In addition, I’ll highlight the signs and symptoms to look for during training and provide you with ways to alter you’re running so you can keep training.

Balance Physiotherapy are proud to announce that SweatShop@Clapham will be the Event Sponsor and will provide some drink and nibbles from 6.45pm on. It will a great opportunity to check the latest gear and chill out before the lecture kicks off.

Due to limited availability of places booking is required. Please e-mail or phone at the earliest opportunity. Tel: 020 7627 2308

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Anyone for a 10K?

Mornington Chasers are running a series of 10K's on the first Sunday of every month (October - March). The runs are held in Regents Park (by the hub) and are chip timed. The entry fee is £10.

Frank did the first of the series and has recommended the course and organization. It would be great if we could get a group of Clapham Runners down there for the next race - 5th December. I'm up for it!

Entries are open on the day (registration closes at 8.30, race at 9.00) or via the Runners World website

More info on the series can be found at:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sussex Marathon (new for 2011) April 3rd

Just to let you know, if anyone wants to run a Spring UK marathon and didn't get into London or Brighton, there is a new one to the 2011 calendar. Sussex Marathon (
on Sunday April 3rd.

Also, apologies for my current absence from the club (I do miss it!) but I work on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and Saturday mornings so am on club "sabbatical" again, but will try and contribute in other ways, such as posting things of interest on this site when possible.

In the meantime I am training for a nice short race, the Last Friday of the Month 5K in Hyde Park on December 24th. Depending on how fit I am or am not by then, I may even have a shot at Sussex myself, if I can get a lift down there!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

PB in Birmingham Half Marathon

My PB was a modest 32 second improvement on my Brighton Half time in February. It was nonetheless a pb. I think it might improve my runbritain handicap by 0.1 as well. According to the website, to improve it, I needed to improve my half marathon time by about 25 seconds, which I did. I think the actual time I needed to improve by will be dependent on how difficult they consider the Birmingham half to be. I think it was a bit hillier than the other halves I've done this year and so hopefully it will be enough.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

Race notices - Marathons Spring 2011

Courtesy of Fiona a list of inspiring places you always wanted to run - if you are not running London 2011

Persuade yourselves - London's positively passé

Rome 20 March
Milan 10 April
Ireland 10 April
Madrid 17 April
Copenhagen 22 May
Edinburgh 22 May
Stockholm 28 May

Brighton marathon already sold out!! Shout if you're interested in doing any of the above or have any other recommendations.

There's always

Race notice - local 10k

Emer Casey Memorial 10K

Herne Hill Harriers will again be assisting the Emer Casey Foundation to organise the Emer Casey Memorial 10K in 2010. This year's event will take place in Brockwell Park, Herne Hill, on Sunday 24th October 2010. The race starts at 11.00am.
Click here to download a copy of the entry form or enter via
Entry fee: £14.00 for club runners or £16.00 for those who are not members of a UKA-affiliated club. There is no online entry surcharge and the entry limit is 400. Entries will be available on the day if the limit has not been reached. Changing and bagging storage facilities will also be available. All finishers will receive a T-shirt.
Course map:-
If you have any queries regarding the event, please email:
For more information about the Emer Casey Foundation, please visit

Friday, October 1, 2010

Sweatshop Clapham 20% off everything until 10/10/2010

The new branch near Balance/Clapham North is running a promotion - just use Clapham20 when you are there. Arch 643, Voltaire Road, Clapham SW4 6DH

Running repairs

Paula Coates - founder club member, Balance based physio and author of Running Repairs is interested in creating an experimental blog spot to suggest treatment for niggles and minor injuries on the club blog. Post or probably better e-mail Paula describing symptoms for her suggestions on the blog.

Race notices

Spaces are available in a car on Nov 7th going to Loseley for the Chase Hospice 10K CC Loseley Park Guildford 10am race start - a cross country undulating 10k around the park of a stately home§ionTitle=Loseley+10K+and+4K+fun+run+-+Sunday+7+November+2010

Some members will be running Bedford Harriers Half Marathon 2010 Sunday 12th December 10 a.m. race start.
There's a new half Marathon for early April which should fit with Marathon trainees schedule Sunday 3rd April 2011.

London Marathon 2011 - Places, Training and Races

Virgin London Marathon place and reject magazines are in the post. The club will hold a ballot for our place in early December. Please put your name forward if you want to enter the ballot, you need to be a fully fledged fee paying member to be considered! If you have not yet done so please provide names, address and d.o.b. to register with EAA. As the training season gets under way if you want long run buddies - post them - previously Putney out and back along the Thames on the weekend has been popular. It can be varied from 4 to 20 miles.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Rat Race

OH MY GOD!!!!! I need to remember the course director of this series can't measure distances, after our 4hr extravaganza in the Green Belter a few months ago!

The Plan: "Mean Streets" Sat 25th, 5-7:30pm, 10-15k on foot through central London.
Reality: 20k!!! This was a team event with me, Krysia and my sister. The furthest my sister has run before is 10k!

Follow that up on Sunday with the "Nine-to-Five" - The Plan: 65k, mainly on bike including a max 5k on foot.
Reality: 75k, including 13k on foot, 1.5k kayak, 50m swim, 25m abseil, 10m rolling down hill (yes really)!!

Krysia got special comendation on her style of rolling down hill by the one and only Dean Macey who was also competing!! (By the way, we beat him!)

The Rat Race is really fun, so long as you know what you're letting yourself in for. We danced in the street to buskers, tried to guess beers, did kareoke at Bloomsbury Bowling, orienteered, abseiled down the Oval cricket ground, swam a length of Cystal Palace pool, got lost in a maze, did a circuits session and a BMF session, a couple of climbing walls, footy skills and rolled in fountains! Fortunately we didn't get to the checkpoint where you had to eat cockles!

So, after 10hrs and 100k we're ready for a rest.

Hopefully with all of that I might now be fit enough for a Half Marathon this weekend....

London City Orienteering

September 18th was the day when we finally slowed Frank down!

The 3rd City of London Orienteering event started at Tower Hill - taking in about a million roads, alleys and courtyards that you never knew were there - before finishing in glorious sunshine at City Hall.

It's certainly the first orienteering event I've been to where we could have dim sum overlooking the finish after the event!

Above is an extract from the Mens Open class - billed as 8.2km. My route (shown by the red squiggly line) was 8.2miles! I made the wrong route choice a few times but that's not surprising given the number of twists and turns you have to take to find the best route - up, down, over or through the city.
Next year the race is on the 10th September 2011 - ask Frank if you want to know what it feels like to compete as a novice, ask Martin if you want some hints and tips!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ice pack therapy tests

If you are suffering from foot pain, achilles tendon problems or shin splints you can help evaluate some special ice packs designed to keep the chill pack on the problem area. Contact Frank in the first instance.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Bristol Half Marathon 2010

I had been led to believe that the weather would be good on Sunday. The five day forecast had said so and also there was all that talk of the “last weekend of summer.” However, when I got up on Sunday, it was distinctly grey. When I actually got to the runners’ area it was properly raining and I wished that I was one of the sensible people who had a binbag.

The start was organised in two waves. It will surprise no-one to know that I was in the second wave, which started half an hour after the first one. This was actually just as well, because the queue for the bagdrop was fairly long and the queue for the toilets were ridiculously long. I overheard some first wavers complaining that they’d missed their start because of the queues. I didn’t make it to my pen and just had to join the end of the people walking to the start. To be fair, this meant that I started at the back, which was where I’d have been if I’d been in my pen.

The first five miles went out of Bristol along the Avon gorge and then the next five miles came back the same way. For this bit the waved start was good for me psychologically because I could tell myself that all the people running in the opposite direction had had a head start! Once I passed five miles and was going the other way, it felt like I was going in the right direction. The last three miles was around Bristol centre and so there were more people supporting at that point. This was good because I really felt the last three miles. I didn’t walk any of it, which I was pleased with, but during the last bit I was jogging at the same speed as the walkers.

It didn’t rain the whole way, but it was pretty rainy for a lot of the time. This probably wasn’t a terrible thing. Both Fiona and Sinead will attest that the half marathon in Brighton in February was in horrible weather and that was my best half marathon time to date. I had been pretty worried about the expected hot weather beforehand. The rain obviously helped, because I finished in less than a minute over my Brighton time and I was pleased with that.

Bristol was my third half this year and my fourth in total. Rather alliteratively, all of the halves this year have begun with B. I have completed Brighton, Berlin, Bristol and in October I am going to have a go at Birmingham. I might try and have a go at beating my Brighton time in Birmingham, but for me to do that it might just have to rain.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Our first 1st!!


Click here for a link to our very own Pete Olds tremendous result in winning the Clapham Common 5k on the 23rd August.

Dipping under 18mins he sets the benchmark quite high for the rest of us to follow!

Clapham Runners in Indochina

Clapham Runners have been spotted far and wide!
We had a great morning riding around on Mae San the elephant in a sanctuary in Cambodia

We continued our travels through Vietnam then onwards to Cambodia, to the ancient temples of Angkor Wat

How far has your Clapham Runners t-shirt gone?!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Clapham Runners go tri!

Here's a team pic of Richard, Frank & I from the recent London Triathlon!! We finished in just over 3 hours and then Richard did the whole thing all over again the next day!! Great race & just fab that we had some supporters on the sidelines too:-)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Forthcoming Thames River Relay 5/9/10

Baton relay from Virginia Water to Kingston -along the river. 5/9/10 9a.m. Mixed team of 6 people various stages max approx 7 miles. Stipulation of at least one woman no more than 3 Senior men (under 40). Anyone interested in forming a team?

Take a look at:

PS Is there a way of pasting a working web page or document such as pdf ? Can someone show me how.....

Friday, July 16, 2010

Sweatshop Clapham Branch open Sale now on

Sweatshop have opened a branch in Clapham in the railway arches opposite Balance Arch 643 Voltaire Rd. The current sale is/was good on clothing and shoes last week of sale commences 24th July 10% extra discount.

Running shoe scrappage 20% discount at up and running Dulwich

Shoe Scrappage

Dulwich branch 020 8613 6060

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Belter of an Adventure....

Fancy something with a bit more muck and water?

Saturday 4th September 2010

Check out the website for a picture of me competing in the previous race!!

Sadly we won't be going (still wedding season) but it comes highly recommended, especially as it's shorter than the one we did!

The City Race - London Urban Orienteering

Fancy getting a different outlook on London with a bit of a mental challenge? This is the race for you:
Saturday 18th September 2010

Normally orienteering involves forests and moorland in remote areas of the UK. Not any more! "If the mountain won't come to Mohammed" and all that. This is a race in, out, up, down and through the streets and alleys of central London, finding places you never knew existed!

No experience necessary - I'll be there to give tips and advice (if it is your first go you may wish to pair up with someone else)! Give it a go - you'll enjoy it!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Like Speed, but not.

I tend to pick the bigger races because they usually have a greater range of ability and I am scared of coming last in the smaller races. Lining up at the start at Hyde Park Corner, I realised that even by my strict standards, this race was big. In fact, I suspect that by the time that I reached the start, the elite racers had already finished.

When I finally got to it, I messed up my start a bit. I recently got one of those Garmin things. I wanted to see if this would help me to maintain some sort of pace in the race. It’s helped me a bit with this when I’ve gone out on my own. This might have worked if I had actually managed to hit the timer button at the start. I realised that I hadn’t about half a km in. It was on though and was telling me how fast I was going. Never mind, I thought, I’ll just try and maintain this thoughout. It’ll be a bit like the movie Speed, only ever so slightly less glam and without Keanu Reeves.....

It went quite well for the first few kms. Then we got to the river. The pace I’d set at the start was optimistic. I was disheartened when it dropped. The people coming the other way on the other side of the road who were further along than me weren’t helping my psyche either.

There were a few tunnels in the race. It is amazing how many people started walking in the tunnels where there were no spectators. Going at the pace that I do,I often end up with a lot of walkers in races and it is so tempting to join them when things aren’t going so well. In the half marathons I did earlier in the year, I managed to keep on slogging and jogging for the whole course. Today that didn’t happen and so I walked for a bit.

The other thing that seemed to slow people down was the water stations. I have seen water stations cause bottlenecks in races before. However, in this race each water station I reached had run out of water and this seemed to lead people to slow down, walk and sometime even (quite grimly) stop to see if any of the discarded bottles still had water in them. Having spent the first part of the race getting annoyed with my own water bottle, I suddenly became very grateful that I’d decided to carry it. I may not have been having the best of races, but I wasn’t at the back and so a lot of people won’t have got water.

The race was not my finest hour (and a bit). It involved walking and jogging and I was annoyed by the walking. However, I now have my chip time and, while slow, it actually isn’t as bad as I had thought while I was struggling. So onwards and upwards and next time I might even remember to switch the stopwatch on.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Injury frustration

I'm feeling frustrated, the weather is glorious and rather than being able to make the most of it and partake in sunny evening training sessions, I'm struggling to walk the 200m to the bus stop. I got knocked off my bike a few days ago and had to have stitches in my knee, I'm ok and it could have been a lot worse. I keep hoping each morning when I wake up my leg will miracously feel better!

The injury does mean I will miss out on competing against colleagues and trying to defend my title as the fastest runner in my company! Oh well, I'll just have to try even harder next year.

So if you don't see me for a while you now know why. Good luck to anyone who is competing in the next few weeks.


Sunday, June 13, 2010

Krysia kills Martin at the Green Belter!

I have just regained the use of my fingers - the rest of my body is still to recover from yesterdays "Green Belter".

4hr10mins of running, biking and kayaking - oh and some "challenges" thrown in for good measure.

Sold to me as practice for the Rat Race in September I perhaps underestimated the adventures ahead of us....

3k run, 8k bike, 11k run, 22k bike (including kayaking) followed by an inflatable obstacle (think "it's a knockout" or "total wipeout")

It was my style of running - being back in the muddy forests reminded me of Orienteering. However, the biking was lots of twisting single-track mayhem - not necessarily my cup of tea and not really suited to Krysia's hybrid bike!

Never-the-less the day of new challenges (wading through waist-high muddy water - 2nd time round carrying the bikes!), finding out how (un)fit I am, getting over jet lag (in Krysia's case) and getting covered in mud was good fun!

Southend Half Marathon 2010

Funny old game, this running.

My expectations for this race were very low, having had a sluggish few weeks after the VLM, and falling prone to niggles various. Also, I did it last year and wasn't looking forward to the repetitive "up and down the front four times" course.

Still, as a relative new boy to the club, I find that races keep me training, so I had my day at the seaside.

The course is very flat and very boring (up and down, up and down) but it's well managed, with friendly marshals, plenty of water and sponges (ah! the sponges!) as well as the lure of a fine Rossi '99 ice cream at the finish. Lots of club running vests, but also plenty of locals running for the Havens Hospices, who organise the event.

I set off hoping to cling to an 8 minute/mile pace, and was surprised to find it wasn't as tough as I thought it might be. Those speed sessions on a Thursday night really do work, it seems, because I was clocking up enough 7:30s and 7:40s to begin to give me ideas above my station. Maybe I could have a go at my PB, after all (1:40:27 at Hastings in March).

One thing I've learned from the club is that I run faster by training with people who run faster with me. I've spent enough evenings staring at Franks's back, or Krysia's or Fiona's (Mrs Incredible) to have some kind of muscle memory for chasing folk down. And when I run, I count backwards from a hundred.

I know.

Over and over again.

"One hundred, Ninety-nine," etc etc over and over ad infinitum. I'm a great conversationalist, though, honestly.

Anyway, today I put the two together and imagined a digital clock on the back of the runner in front of me. It cut out the negative thinking - Can we just stop please? Isn't this a bit silly? - and helped me forget about worrying injuries into being where none existed.

It worked, because the boring 8,9,10 miles, back along the front for the fourth time, kept me in with a chance of sub 1:45.

I can probably thank England goalie Robert Green for my result, as there must have been plenty of unused adrenaline in my system after watching his USA whoopsy last night. The field was about 1500 and I came in 350th, at 1:41:37; only a minute outside my PB. Not too shabby, as this morning, I'd have been happy with anything under two hours.

As I say, a funny old game.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Essential tip for planning a BBQ

If you want to know when it'll be good weather again just ask Krysia when she's doing her next endurance event - first the Paris Marathon and now the Crystal Palace triathlon - both on scorching hot sunny days!

It certainly worked for our friends - we're off to Teddington for a BBQ!

Triathlon debut!

The day started early (which wasn't a bad thing as the forecast for later was 25 degrees), with a 5 mile cycle to the event (with a killer uphill at the end).

Once there the nerves then started to kick in as I really didn't have a clue of what I needed to be doing. After finding registration and talking nervously with other first timers, I then parked my bike in the transition area and watched as the pros lined up their kit getting as many tips as possible.

Then it was off to the pool - sitting at the waters edge, I managed to distract myself by talking to fellow competitors (everyone seemed very friendly). Once in the pool 50m (one length, of 15 to do - eeek) looked a long way. Doing breast stroke I was worried I would be overtaken by everyone behind me, but I even managed to pass a few other swimmers. Feeling that I had held my own it was with wobbly legs that I headed off to transition.

Trying to put a vest over wet swim wear isn't easy and I lost a minute having to re-pin my numbers on. Tip to others, invest in a tri belt as it saves you valuable time and faffing! I had been warned that the first thing you face on the bike is a steep hill, however knowing that didn't make it any easier to climb (9 times in total). The cylce route was up hill for the first 3rd and then downhill the rest of the way and was enjoyable. I just hope I managed the right number of laps as at the end I ended up talking to one of my new found triathlon buddies and he had done 10 laps!

Getting off the bike and into a run was much harder than anticipated. My legs felt really strange running, and the 5k (also with the same steep hill twice) felt really really slow. I never thought a 5k could be so difficult.

Finishing in the stadium with an announcer calling (or trying to call) your name was a nice touch. I even got a spot prize of a swimming hat at the end on top of a medal and a nice t-shirt!

Thanks to Martin (esp. after working a night shift and 2 hours of sleep) for his support on the course - cheering me on really helped :-)

YEAH I've completed my first triathlon - another......... we'll have to wait and see!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Race for life marshals

Sat July 31st Clapham Common - volunteers sign up by e-mail please. It will be an early start - first event (10k) 9:00am briefing around 7:30. Free by 12:30 latest - earlier for some.

My Clapham Runners tee shirt went to ???? and all I got was this bloody picture.

Your tee short can win prizes.

Wear your Clapham Runners tee shirt with pride to exotic, challenging, strange, new or far flung places. Submit a picture to win exotic tee shirt person of the day award

Monday, May 17, 2010

Paris marathon!

Here's a pic of 2 happy Clapham Runners who finished the paris marathon in under 4 hours - woo hoo!! Amazing that we ran into each other at the finish line in a crowd of about 38,000 runners!

Mudrunner Oblivion!!!

Here are some pics of me sludging through the mud and completing an obstacle in ''mudrunner oblivion''!! It was an epic 10km race in Eastnor that involved running UPHILL (!!), through DEEP mud puddles and completing various obstacles along the course! Hehehe, it was good not-so-clean fun!! See u at training:-) Fi

Janie in Washington

Well done to Janie for her 5km in Washington - completed in 28 minutes in 30 degree heat and 100% humidity (don't think I would have fancied that!). Janie's team (family and friends from over the world) raised over $7,000 for brain cancer research.

More info on the race can be found at

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Free yoghurt and fun in Shropshire

The Muller 10km in Market Drayton in Shropshire was my first race actually wearing my Clapham Runners shirt. I took both the long sleeved and the short sleeved ones to Shropshire because I was determined to wear our colours in a race and I didn't know what the weather would be like. It was actually a short sleeved day. This was better news for wouldbe barbequers that it was for me. I haven't done much training in the sun. Admittedly, since the weather has got a bit better, my training outside of the Thursday sessions has been somewhat patchy. Still, as the race was organised by Muller I'd probably get a free yoghurt at the end and so it wasn't going to be all bad!

The race started and ended in a school field. Rachel, the friend I went to the race with, said it reminded her of a school sports day. Whenever I ran in school sports day I usually came pretty close to last and so I sincerely hoped that history wouldn't repeat itself completely. Lining up at the start, Rachel and I spotted two blokes who were going to run three-legged. The fact that they weren't expecting this to be easy was indicated by their decision to wear crash helmets. I think we both thought it would be embarrassing to be overtaken by them.

The start of the race could have been staggered slightly better as there was a bit of a bottleneck when we were trying to leave the school field. Once out on the open road though, the signs were clear and there were lots of marshals. There were also a fair number of supporters, which was excellent for me with my name printed on my top. The first km seemed to go pretty fast. Unfortunately, the first km was downhill and in a cyclical race, what goes down must come up. The uphill bits seemed longer than the downhill bits. I definitely struggled a bit.

At 5km we went round the Muller dairy. At 6km I saw the three-legged guys. They were coming the other way and had completed about 4km. One of them had lost his crash helmet. At the end I had a few problems getting back onto the school field. Bottle necking wasn't the problem this time (I'm a bit too slow to be for this to really be a problem). A lot of the runners had finished and were getting in my way by leaving the field. I glared at them with their trays of yoghurts, but actually having my eye on the prize did give me an incentive to finish.

Actually, considering the hills and the heat I didn't do too badly. I finished about 2 minutes or so outside my best time over 10km. This isn't that fast, but then I'm not that fast. Within the realms of what I've done before it was pretty ok. That I got away with the time that I did was almost entirely down to the Thursday sessions. Still, I'm sure if I try a bit harder on other days of the week I can get that time down. So I came away today with a feeling that I've got something to work with, with a much greater appreciation for our runners who've done marathons and other races in hotter weather with bigger hills, oh, and with a fair amount of free yoghurt. Not a bad day at all.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Laura's Race Report

Hello all. Thanks for coming out to support us today. It was fantastic seeing you all -- twice!
I suppose I stuck to my race plan in that I tried to run with the 9 minute mile pacer for at least the first half and then see how it was going. This proved difficult as it was very crowded and I don't think she actually hit the spilts for that pace until about mile 18. Struggled to dart in and out of people to keep her in sight more well. Having said that the pace felt faster than I expected -- which was probably a combination of the heat and my not being that fit, having done my training runs very slowly.

Anyway, I made a gallant effort up to about mile 18 but my legs were starting to seize and feel quite crampy so I decided to save my skin and adopt a jog-walk plan from there on out. At one point I stoppped for a massage by what I thought were people from St. John's Ambulance but turned out to be Scientologists! I ran away when I realized that, having wasted a precious few minutes there!

Walking wasn't much more comfortable than running, really, but there seemed to be a few heat casualties so it may have saved me an injury or getting quite ill.

So I managed 4:23 and am pleased. A year ago I couldn't plod 2 slow miles without stopping to walk, having just had my baby. (Also not bad considering it was quite warm, I only trained for 12 weeks, mostly with a jogging buggy, and my "long" runs were one 10 mile, two 12's and a 14.5) And best of all, it's 3 minutes quicker than my first London effort when I was 5 years younger and had trained more.

As always, the crowd support was nothing short of phenomenal. Thanks so much Clapham Runners! Wonderful support. And a BIG well done to my fellow club members. Hope you're all feeling good. xxx

Race Day

Marathon done and dusted, all 4 clapham runners spotted (eventually) plus friends, neighbours and old club members.

Congratulations to all who finished.

Anthony = 4.06
Laura = 4.23
Sinead = 4.34
Lindsay = 6.04

Rest, relaxation, ice-baths and massage recommended for all, including supporters - it's thirsty work cheering everyone on, don't ya know!

Friday, April 23, 2010

London Marathon - race day minus 2!

Cheerleading preparation done!

A group of clapham runners will be supporting their fellow club members at the 14/21(ish) mile points (indicated in pink). We are meeting at Limehouse at 9.50 or on the course for those who don't like early mornings!

We will be shouting encouragement and waving a banner lovingly handcrafted by Martin (pictured below). Smile when you see us as we will also be armed with a camera!

Lets hope we spot everyone - GOOD LUCK!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It's Thursday - it's track day!

A lazy start to the day before an 8am physio appointment (Graham @ Balance is finally back from his 'Volcano extended' break)! Now I'm counting down the hours before heading to Battersea track to see what Jon has in store for us tonight.

For all those running this weekend - have a great time, stick to what you know and run your own race. And do it with a smile! Look out for our banner - made it last night complete with yellow and black hazard tape round the side so you can see us!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

GOOD LUCK london marathoners

Wishing everyone running the London marathon good luck for Sunday. It looks like it it going to be a warm day, good for the spectators but not so good for the runners. Hopefully I'll be able to spot you all.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ice ‘bath’ magic

After watching Eddie Izzard’s marathon exploits, I decided to see if all the pain he put himself though after a day’s running was worth it. Yes – I decided to have an ice bath after completing Paris, in fact I had two (one a few hours after and another the following morning). Gosh they were cold, gosh they made 10 minutes feel like an eternity, but I do think they worked!

Two days after the marathon and I’m feeling unexpectedly good – I don’t mean to gloat but I can manage stairs without grimacing and I can even tie my shoe laces, not sure it will work for everyone but I will be doing it again!

Check out this you tube clip to help you spot fellow runners.

Monday, April 12, 2010

3 PB's

As the intrepid band of Clapham Runners return to Blighty news is confirmed that all three racers got PB's

Fiona 3:56
Krysia 3:57
Laurence 4:20

Well done to all!

They've set the bar high for those running London, but also showed what a good winter of training can achieve - you guys will be fine!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

4 for 2

Great news!!!

Fiona and Krysia have busted the 4hour mark and coincidentally finished within seconds of each other! We're waiting to hear how Laurence has done!

Now comes the rest, relaxation and re-fuelling (and ice baths!)

krysia flying at 35k

Just seen Krysia fly past at 35k in the Paris Marathon. She was smiling and waving and a few minutes ahead of the 4hr pace makers. All that work with Clapham Runners has really paid off :-)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Paris Update

Well here we are in sunny Paris - a warm day with a cooling breeze - bodes well for tomorrow.

Runners everywhere today - you see them on the metro, in street cafe's, all over the place!

Just sitting down to watch the Grand National. My money is on "Beat the Boys" - in honour of Krysia, Laurence and Fiona who will be beating myself and David tomorrow!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Clapham Runners - race marshals

There are several forthcoming races on Clapham Common at which Clapham Runners has the opportunity to contribute to worthwhile causes and events while promoting the club's activities to a local running community. The events are usually weekends and involve getting there in plenty of time typically for 9a.m. race starts.

For example on July 31st 2010 - Cancer Research Race for Life 10km - is looking for marshals. Volunteers please sign up by e-mail to Other events will be notified as details are returned. Club tee shirts will be one way to try and get the message across.

They're under starters orders...and they're off!

Well, Krysia and Martin's Eurostar has left St Pancras anyway!

We're whizzing through the English countryside only slightly slower than Frank last night when he was meant to be doing a "70% 400m" (will he ever listen to Jon?!)

We're in a carriage surrounded by other runners and their respective support crews. Krysia is wishing the waiting was over and the race would start!

See you on the other side!

Paris Marathon

Good luck , good times and good weather for Fiona, Krysia, Laurence, David and Martin and all supporters. Keep us posted on life on the streets of Paris.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quiz Night

Join Sinead at her marathon fundraising quiz at the County Arms Wandsworth on Tuesday the 13th April. At the last marathon fundraising quiz Clapham Runners were victorious - can we repeat our success?

To sponsor Sinead directly click here.

Friday, April 2, 2010


Anthony is running the London Marathon for Trinity Hospice (based in Clapham) - to sponsor his marathon efforts click here.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Welcome to the new Clapham Runners blog. On this blog we will highlight club member acheivements, up coming races/events, and other club news.

Countdown to Paris
It's definitely marathon season - the common is full of runners!
There are just over 10 days to go before 5 members of the club take part in the Paris marathon, for some it will be thier first marathon experience, whilst others are trying to beat existing pb's. Time to taper right down (I hope you are reading this Jon) and hope all the training pays dividends.